Replacing thermostat? My experience with Motorcraft vs Aftermarket - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Replacing thermostat? My experience with Motorcraft vs Aftermarket

Hey y'all -

Now that winter is upon us and there are more posts about cooling systems, I thought I'd share my experience.

I just finished flushing my cooling system. Last time I did the job, I bought an aftermarket thermostat from I think Pep Boys. I replaced the water pump at the same time. Since then, the car has behaved fine, but I've always had the feeling that it's been over-cooling: heater warm but not hot, low reading on the temp gauge: within normal, but only just. Also quite a bit of fluctuation in the temperature during driving.

I decided to buy a Motorcraft thermostat this time, since a growing number of aftermarket parts seem to be made in China. I did the job and took it for a long test run last night.

I was amazed: the heater was hot, the temp gauge went straight up to about 1/3 on the gauge and remained there rock solid until I got back home: it rose a bit while I was parking then the fans kicked in for a moment and it settled back. Now the engine seems to be reaching and maintaining its proper operating temperature, and even the idling seems smoother. I'm interested whether there may be a tiny improvement in gas mileage.

Apart from changing the fluid, all I did was move to a Motorcraft thermostat: the other thermostat was clearly operating as well as it did new. Maybe flushing helped, but the water was pretty clear. For the sake of a few extra $$, I'd strongly advise Motorcraft for thermostats!

Happy Cooling

Oh, and I think the radio reception might be a bit there ANYTHING this thermostat can't do??
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-09-2014, 08:10 PM
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I'm finding that I don't like these aftermarket thermostats.. the biggest difference is the motorcraft thermostat is 197f and the aftermarket is 195f.

The problem with the aftermarket is the true operating temperature is 197f. With the aftermarket themostat it falls short of the operating temperature so it frequently opens at 195f and closes near the bottom of the temp gauge. The heater doesn't stay hot and those temperature fluctuations can't be good for the engine over time.

I'm not an expert but that's my opinion.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 09:58 AM
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I only recommend OEM thermostats after working in a auto parts chain store years ago. Seen way too many issues with aftermarket not giving enough heat and those "fail safe" thermostats locking open all the time.

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